33 Things That Make Gen X'ers So Nostalgic, They'll Almost Stop Being Sarcastic For A Minute

    "I remember the day my college got the internet. We all swarmed the computer lab to see what it was all about."

    Recently, we rounded up some things that Gen X'ers say define their generation (aka those born between 1965 and 1980), and there were literally hundreds of comments in response. Here are more things that Gen X'ers remember about what it was like growing up in their generation:

    1. "Cheap concert tickets! I was born in 1972. By the mid-'80s, my friends and I were going to concerts all the time — usually $10 to $20 a ticket. Great seats, too. My first concert was AC/DC in, I think, 1984, around seventh row center stage. I saw Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, Poison, Cinderella, Guns N' Roses, Tesla, Aerosmith, Metallica, etc., and many of those, multiple times. I hate the fiasco that going to a concert has become now and think it’s sad so many young people can’t afford to go see their favorite band/singer because of outrageous ticket prices (if you can even get one), and crappy seats unless you fork out tons of extra money. Great memories from all those concerts!"

    Richie Sambora in concert

    2. "Calling time and temperature to check…the time? And outside temperature? Now everyone has instant access to this current information. But I remember calling T&T several times in an afternoon; IDK why. Is there even a T&T number anymore? 🤷🏼‍♀️"

    A person talking on a rotary phone

    3. "Anyone else remember being required to carry a dictionary and thesaurus in your backpack in college? Everyone crying about cellphones…cellphones mean you don’t have to carry a dictionary and thesaurus with you everywhere anymore!"

    Students on campus with bicycles

    4. "The year 1999, sometime in December, was the first time in my life that I patted my handbag to discover that a cellphone (first one, Nokia, obvs) was not there. It took all of two seconds to remember it was plugged in at home, but 23 years later, I can still feel that plunge in my stomach. That was a new sensation."


    5. "I remember the day my college got the internet. We all swarmed the computer lab to see what it was all about."

    Community college students in a computer lab

    6. "Talking on the phone for hours. My dad would often ask what I had to talk to my friends about, since I was just with them all day in school, LOL. I can remember being somewhere away and lying on the pavement under a phone booth talking to a friend for hours on a Friday night."


    7. "I remember going to the dollar movies with a huge purse full of wine coolers."

    Movie theater in Times Square showing The Terminator

    8. "Wow, reading all these comments brought me back. Some good times. I remember staying home from school sick watching The Monkees, I Dream of Jeannie, and Gilligan's Island, with my mom stealing the TV for her soaps she watched. Love my generation!"


    9. "I was born in 1975, and I remember lots of things about my Gen X childhood. Riding in the backs of pickup trucks, with and without camper shells, no bike helmets, playing on playground equipment set in concrete. 'Stranger danger' and McGruff the Crime Dog, but no thoughts of anybody walking into a building and spraying bullets everywhere. When McDonald's was cool and had awesome outdoor playgrounds. Being scared of getting nuked by Soviet Russia. Going from listening to music on record albums to cassette tapes to CDs and then MP3 players (and yes, I still use MP3 players because I find them more practical than listening to music on my phone)."

    Scruff McGruff the crime dog making an appearance on the sitcom Webster

    10. "Every car in my family had crank windows until I was 22, in 1989. I remember buying my first CD player in 1990 because it was getting too hard to find records I wanted. MTV started up with hardly anyone making videos, so they had to play some oddball stuff just to fill the schedule, and that started moving me off top 40 and eventually into punk and college radio. Almost everything on SST Records was a must-buy. Guys ran in tiny shorts. Nobody I knew got driven to school by their parents unless they overslept or had a doctor's or dentist's appointment. Teenagers somehow had no problem getting multiple kegs for the weekend. In eighth grade, you weren't cool if you didn't have Binaca on you."


    11. "Hair metal. Not grunge. We shared grunge with millennials. Hair metal. That was exclusively ours."

    Mötley Crüe in concert

    12. "Zima. Neon clothes. Jelly bracelets. Stirrup leggings. Pay phones. United Colors of Benetton. Sassy magazine. Big hair. Manic Panic. Friday Night Videos. Strawberry Shortcake. Smurfs. Sam Goody. And so many more."


    13. "Remember the countdown to saying goodbye to Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man?"

    Joe Camel mural on the side of a building

    14. "I actually said to someone the other day, 'Page me,' like it was 1988 or something. WTF? LOL."


    15. "Music!!! The second British Invasion — Duran Duran, Culture Club, Wham! (George Michael’s band), Spandau Ballet, OMD, Kajagoogoo/Limahl, the Cure, Depeche Mode. Along with the non-British bands — U2, Men at Work, INXS, the Beastie Boys…"

    Duran Duran at the 1993 VMAs

    16. "First-year Gen X here. Just on phones alone: being a kid and remembering the switch from dial phones to push button, and the first models not having the hashtag or asterisk buttons. We didn’t call the symbol a hashtag; we called it 'pound.' We called the asterisk the 'star button.' For years, those two buttons did nothing except give you a busy signal if you pushed them."

    "We were teenagers when call waiting became available (for extra). It was revolutionary. Have the young'uns today ever even heard a busy signal?

    "Hardly anyone had an answering machine, although they were widely available, until the later '80s. No one home? The message waited until there was.

    "Most of us were in our 20s when caller ID first came online in 1995 — the same year the internet really became a thing for most. That seemed revolutionary too.

    "Up through the '80s, it was technically illegal to use anything but regulation Bell telephones you had to order and lease through the phone company. Novelty companies did sell phones, but few people had them."


    17. "As an old Gen X punk, you know what I love? Young punks. Black leather, studs, chains, liberty spikes, safety pins, Docs, etc. My son rolls his eyes when he's out with me because he has to hear me say how I just want to pinch their cheeks and tell them they're precious. (Obviously I keep that between us and leave them be.)"

    Crowd at a punk club in Paris in 1990

    18. "We knew that Mikey likes it and Zack was the Lego Maniac."


    19. "The '80s were the most amazing decade of all time, and I will die on that hill. I was born in November 1970, so the '80s were my preteen and teenage years. No way someone born in 1984 could have truly experienced the '80s."

    Teen boy in the '80s carrying a boom box on his shoulder

    20. "The fear of being kidnapped by someone in a white van!"


    21. "Trying hard was seen as distinctly uncool. The less you tried, the cooler you were. So everyone tried really hard to look like they weren’t trying hard 🤣."

    Early '90s teens in NYC hanging out on the sidewalk wearing Roller Blades

    22. "I remember people smoking on airplanes and how McDonald’s had these little tin ashtrays with the 'M' stamped in the middle. Landline party lines, pager codes like 911 and 143, having that little tape adapter thing for your Discman in your car. Contempo Casuals, Express, and giant, chunky shoes with little babydoll dresses. Butterfly hair clips. And Nirvana. And Alanis. Weed in little film containers or mint tins. No social media to document/entangle your shenanigans…those were the days!!! And EDDIE VEDDER FOREVER!"


    23. "One thing that wasn’t mentioned that (I think) defined growing up Gen X was the fear and lack of understanding during the AIDS/HIV epidemic. For those of us who came of age in the '80s/early '90s, it was drilled into our minds that sex could very well equal a death sentence. American society and government had a field day perpetuating homophobia and regressive attitudes toward sexuality during that time, which really sucked."

    Protesters marching with a banner that says "AIDS we need research not hysteria"

    24. "This was back in 1993 or 1994 (so high school for me), and we were introduced to the World Wide Web. My first website visit was IMDb. I also remembered being so frustrated when I was searching the internet that I thought it was a useless tool and would not amount to anything. In retrospect, I was a dumb kid."


    25. "A 43-year-old here: Sandler, Farley, Hartman, the list goes on. Point being that Saturday Night Live was fucking hilarious. Not saying it wasn’t before or isn’t now, but that was a glorious time for me to watch."

    Chris Farley with David Spade

    26. "Born in 1971, so I'm dead center in Generation X. I think of my generation as the last generation that got away with shit in our youth. Back then, there were no internet-connected cellphones that could record everything we did for all time, so all questionable clothing and dating choices could be kept secret. And a good thing, too. (Neon is not to be trusted, kids. Trust me on this.)"


    27. "Winona Ryder and Claire Danes will forever be the embodiment of Gen X for me, as well as the original cast of 90210. I was born just in between the Gen X and millennial years. I remember being a chubby little 10-year-old and dreamily staring at those girls on TV, thinking they were the coolest people on Earth."

    Winona Ryder at an art gallery in 1989

    28. "When we were Gen Z's age, we were all that the media could talk about and complain about. We got tons of hate for being 'slackers' and 'PC.' Nothing has changed except that we are no longer the young that they can hate on. Too many of us are the haters now."


    29. "Forget grunge. Many, many of us grew up on hip-hop and are the generation that made it the phenomenon it is now. Boomers started it, but Gen X in the '80s/'90s really defined hip-hop culture."

    LL Cool J and friends in a limo

    30. "We had nuclear-attack drills in elementary school. But there was a Navy base in my hometown, so my dad said not to worry because we'd be a first target and would never know it was coming. And they wonder why I have anxiety."


    31. "When the Berlin Wall came down."

    Smiling couple sitting on top of the Berlin Wall

    32. "Also, there used to be cigarette vending machines."


    33. And finally: "Gen X here, born in 1975. I remember when VCRs first came on the scene in the US. For the first year or two, only rich people could actually afford to buy a VCR (they cost like $500-plus), so in order to rent a VHS tape to watch at home, you ALSO had to rent the whole VCR, complete with cables. I remember doing that for special occasions like birthday parties. It was super exciting when the price for VCRs dropped enough to be affordable to middle-class families."

    Woman setting up a VCR

    Now I'm curious. If we were making a mixtape time capsule for Gen X, what song would you add? Let me know in the comments!

    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.